Summary of our market study

The global prepaid card market has grown significantly since 2020, with the post-COVID-19 economic landscape propelling its value to $1.9 trillion by 2022. Projections indicate that this market could reach $4.1 trillion by 2030. In Italy, the preference for digital and contactless payments has increased, particularly for prepaid cards, whose transaction volume and value have risen. The Italian prepaid card market in particular is remarkable, accounting for 9% of e-commerce transaction value and 12% of point-of-sale spending in 2022, with usage expanding across various segments, including e-commerce, where it occupies a significant share of the market.

Despite a general decline in consumption during the pandemic, Italy saw growth in innovative payments, with an increase in contactless payments via cards and smartphones. Prepaid cards were the only segment to record growth in transaction value in the first half of 2020, with an increase of 13.3%. The outlook for the sector remains positive, with forecasts of sustained growth due to increased consumer demand for secure payment methods amid growing concerns about data security...

Italy's prepaid card market expands amid growth in digital payments

Italy has recently witnessed a significant trend in the credit card market, with a particular affinity for prepaid cards. The reason for this is that prepaid cards offer a secure and controlled spending mechanism, particularly pronounced in online transactions.this is particularly true of online transactions, where security concerns are paramount. As the market diversifies and regulations become stricter, supply is adapting to meet ever-increasing demand, reshaping the future landscape of prepaid payment solutions in the country. Looking at the figures, we can see a significant increase in the number of transactions carried out using prepaid cards, which jumped by around 35% to a transaction value of between 50 and 60 billion euros, representing growth of around 25-30% on the previous year. The Italian market, which is riding the wave of e-commerce development, is also part of a global trend in which digital wallets have seen significant growth. The share of prepaid cards in e-commerce transactions is particularly significant in Italy, where it is the highest among the various markets, representing around 7-11%. The popularity of prepaid cards is not limited to e-commerce. In physical retail outlets, prepaid card use is significant, accounting for around 10-14% of spending. The Italian prepaid card market is particularly robust, with usage percentages that eclipse many other global markets.

In terms of overall payment method preferences, cash still holds a notable share of the POS market, accounting for around 25-30%, while a shift in payment from cash to cards is evident. Digital wallets are gaining ground, both online and in POS, reflecting changing consumer payment preferences. During the pandemic, the trend towards digital and contactless payments strengthened, resulting from a change in behavior aimed at minimizing physical contact. This trend resulted in an astonishing 80% increase in smartphone payments and a solid performance by prepaid cards, whose transaction value rose by over 10%. Looking ahead, the prepaid card segment is set for positive growth. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 8-10%, driven by increased awareness of expense management and privacy concerns, against a backdrop of growing cyber threats. Regulatory frameworks at EU and national level, such as Directives 2000/28/EC and 2000/46/EC and subsequent national transpositions, support this market dynamic, ensuring that issuers are held accountable.

Key players in the Italian prepaid card market The Italian prepaid card market is thriving, and is home to a variety of pivotal institutions and companies that shape its dynamics. Below, we present an overview of the main players, each making a unique contribution to the prepaid card ecosystem.

  • Postepay S.p.A. (Poste Italiane) Postepay, a subsidiary of the renowned Poste Italiane - a name synonymous with trust and tradition - occupies a prime position in the prepaid card sector in Italy. It caters to a broad customer base, offering a range of prepaid card services that combine the accessibility of electronic money with the extensive reach of the Italian postal system. Thanks to its extensive network and customer-focused approach, Postepay is playing a fundamental role in the popularization of prepaid cards in Italy.
  • Mediolanum Bank One of Italy's leading banking entities, Mediolanum Bank offers a range of financial services, including the provision of prepaid cards. It stands out for its innovative banking solutions designed to meet the growing demand for flexibility and security in digital transactions. Mediolanum is known for its commitment to customer service and its dynamic approach to banking in the age of technology.
  • illimity Bank A modern, agile player in the financial sector, illimity Bank is making its mark in the prepaid card market. Known for its cutting-edge financial solutions, the bank caters to both individuals and businesses, bringing a level of innovation and sophistication that resonates with digitally-savvy customers.
  • HYPE S.p.A. HYPE S.p.A., which brings a fresh perspective to the prepaid card sector, is a shining example of a fintech company. HYPE's services are linked to modernity and convenience, aiming to simplify and enhance the user's financial experience with innovative applications.s financial experience with user-friendly applications and cutting-edge prepaid products that meet the demand for a modern, mobile and secure way to manage money.
  • Mooney S.p.A. Mooney is another important emerging Fintech that has made inroads into the prepaid card sector. It stands out for its mission to offer convenient, accessible and reliable prepaid card services, particularly to customers who may not be fully served by traditional banking institutions.
  • Visa and Mastercard No discussion of the prepaid card market is complete without mention of global payment giants Visa and Mastercard. They form the bedrock of the payment infrastructure, offering robust, secure networks on which many prepaid card services in Italy and elsewhere are based.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market Summary

1.1 Definition and presentation

The credit card market is divided into four categories: credit cards, debit cards, commercial cards, and prepaid cards. The category name on the credit card is mandatory since the entry into force on June 9, 2016 of the European Regulation 2015/751.

In Italy, the rapid spread of prepaid cards is undoubtedly related to the specific characteristics of the said form of payment. Prepaid cards "allow you to have a limited amount of money," are therefore reloadable and do not require a connection to a current account. The increased security and functionality of the prepaid card are variables that have played a crucial role in its popularity.

The current Italian overview of alternative forms of payment to cash shows a slight contraction of active credit cards but again emphasizes the growth of prepaid cards in both volume (number of cards in circulation) and value (value of transactions). The rapid expansion of prepaid cards is the source of a larger revolution touching all forms of payment, directed toward greater security, especially for online payments, and consumer control. Demand increases and consequently supply becomes more varied and regulation more circumscribed, variables that will influence the future image of the prepaid market.

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Latest news

Cartes Bancaires: the French banks' plan to counter Visa | and MastercardCartes Bancaires against Visa and Mastercard - 30/06/2023
  • A few years ago, CB (Cartes Bancaires) handled over 90% of payment flows in France, but this market share has now fallen to just under 85%.
  • At the same time, payment flows in France have increased by 40%.
  • Only two banks in France (Crédit Agricole and Société Générale) have developed the technical infrastructures to pass payment flows from Apple Pay-type e-wallets via CB.
  • The aim is to migrate all French banks onto a single platform by the end of 2024.
  • Many online banks have abandoned the CB logo.
  • Groupe BPCE has a fleet of 15.7 million CB and Visa co-badged cards, compared with 3 million Visa-only cards.
  • According to BPCE, 99% of their small merchants have not seen their bills increase in 2022.
Payments : Visa defends its development strategy in France | Visa: development strategy in France - 30/06/2023
  • Visa is a minority player in the French market, but is gaining market share.
  • Transactions carried out via the domestic Cartes Bancaires (CB) network account for between 67% and 90% of the total, depending on the type of business. However, this share has been declining for several years.
  • Visa is one of the major partners of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and will be the exclusive payment operator during the event.
  • 4. 3 million "Visa only" bank cards (for premium customers) have been issued by Groupe BPCE in partnership with Visa for the Olympiad.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Postepay S.p.a
Illimity Bank S.p.a
HYPE S.p.a
Mooney S.p.a

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